Beginnings by Christine Duncan

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I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings lately. They’re so complicated. You need to tell the reader time of day, time of year, introduce the hero/ine, describe them and the setting and get the plot started moving. And you need it to look easy, read smoothly.

Lots has been said about beginnings, including the fact that it is usually the most worked-on part of the book because writers know it has to hook the reader quickly. The problem with my beginnings is that I always start thinking about them when I’m in the middle of the end or even the middle of the middle of the previous book.

I don’t know why I do that. It’s distracting because I really want to get started on the new book and I know I have lots to finish and editing to do. Wrapping things up is really important too. Who was it who said that the ending sells the next book? I know if I am disappointed with the end, I don’t want to read that author’s work anymore. It is a really sucky time to be distracted.

So I argue with myself about what I’m doing. I tell myself to put it away and work on the book I’m finishing. But my best guess is that I am giving myself incentive to finish. I have something to jump onto.

And besides, would I really want to read a book that the author wasn’t excited about starting?

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